white castle frozen burger box with cancer warning


TikToker raises concerns over cancer warning on box of frozen White Castle burgers, sparking debate

Many products sold in California have the same warning.


Clara Wang

Internet Culture

Published Dec 15, 2021   Updated Dec 16, 2021, 11:08 am CST

A TikToker claimed a grocery store customer returned a box of frozen White Castle burgers because “she said it causes cancer,” sparking debate on the platform.

TikTok user @prettyoutkhold is a grocery store cashier who posted a viral TikTok of a customer’s White Castle return. The video received over 3.2 million views since posting Nov. 26.


According to the video caption, @prettyoutkhold “tried their burgers one time and it made me sick, never again.”

The video zooms in on a label stamped on the back of the White Castle box: “Consuming this product can expose you to furfuryl alcohol, which is known to California to cause cancer.”

Proposition 65 mandates that businesses warn California customers about any products containing chemicals linked to “cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.”

However, many foods and products contain what are considered cancer-causing agents in California. Such warnings are put on everything from freshly roasted coffee to amusement parks and common dental procedures.

Furfuryl alcohol, the potential cancer-causing agent in White Castle frozen burgers, can be found in thermally processed foods like baked goods, fruit juices, and coffee. It is also commonly used in frozen or prepackaged meals to give food a brown color.

@prettyoutkhold’s condemnation of White Castle frozen burgers caused many to comment on the ubiquity of cancer-causing agents. Some commenters noted that California puts cancer warning labels on almost every product.

“That label is on everything in CA. It doesn’t cause cancer, it does cause diarrhea,” says @hbake7.

“Bro California claims everything causes cancer,” says @ificared69.

Others finger-wagged at the unhealthiness of processed foods.

“Yeah all processed food does,” says @999nueve666.

“Pretty much all the food we eat causes cancer!” says @michelle_833.

The Daily Dot reached out to White Castle and @prettyoutkhold for comment.

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*First Published: Dec 15, 2021, 7:04 pm CST